Power Disparities

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Updated: Mar 11, 2020
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Power Disparities essay

Power is the most influential element in any given workplace. Power compels people to obey irrespective of whether they are willing or not. In a team, a disparity of power occurs when it is unevenly distributed between the members of a team. Over a long period, there is no conclusive report indicating whether power disparity affects the performance negatively or positively. The essay discusses the influence of various forms of power disparities at the workplace.

The chapter’s foundation is that sexism and culture in society create situations of visible differences as well as states of inequalities between women and men (Knudson Martin, 2015). Research conducted in the US indicates that the country’s creative media industry is female dominated. However, this is a unique case as most of the other industries are male-dominated. Women often find it difficult to enjoy the benefits of cultural work as opposed to men. The representation of women in the interactive content is around 5%, and their representation in the gaming zone is 6%. Nearly all industries are male-dominated.

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Most female-dominated jobs tend to pay less. For instance, the dentistry sector in the US is male dominated while in Europe, both genders tend to enjoy similar representation in this field. However, males are paid much higher in comparison to their counterparts. Work segregation about sex curtails autonomy, recognition, and freedom given to individual women and men (Dubbelt, Rispens & Demerouti, 2016). At times, a woman may be competent in a male-dominated industry, but due to discrimination, she is unable to pursue her career. Such a similar scenario also happens to men in a female dominated industry. However, the overall outcome is that women are more negatively affected.

Another effect of gender disparity at work is that it hinders wholesome flourishing due to the creation of situations that make it harder for people to utilize their talents for the common good. Gender disparity leads to the rise of social stereotypes and thus inhibiting gender recognition and freedom.

Institutional Discrimination

Institutional discrimination arises when there are policies with a bias against a certain group of people either in terms of gender, abilities, skills and even knowledge. Discriminatory HR policies are applied during the recruitment and allocation of resources as well. An instance of discrimination is whereby a test is issued in the choice battery under which there is the emergence of huge gender differences in comparison to those that emerge for ratings based on job performance. Such form of discrimination negatively affects the performance of women. Institutional women discrimination happens while conducting evaluations regarding the performance to come up with organizational rewards (Cundiff & Vescio, 2016). Such rewards may be in terms of compensation, and role assignment opportunities. In terms of promotions and advancement opportunities, when there are more formal job ladders, women are in a better position to advance. For example, ‘face time’ is a performance-based metric that benefits employees who stay in the office longer than those who do not. Women got more flexible work performance measures, and thus such a policy may end up discriminating against men.


In organizations, it is common to come across gender inequalities accruing from HR policies implementation as well as decision making. HR practices may increase gender inequalities in the structure, culture, and leadership of a given organization. Sexism has been a key reason as to why women are unable to rise into power.


  1. Cundiff, J. L., & Vescio, T. K. (2016). Gender stereotypes influence how people explain gender disparities in the workplace. Sex Roles, 75(3-4), 126-138.
  2. Dubbelt, L., Rispens, S., & Demerouti, E. (2016). Gender discrimination and job characteristics. Career Development International, 21(3), 230-245.
  3. Knudson Martin, C., Huenergardt, D., Lafontant, K., Bishop, L., Schaepper, J., & Wells, M. (2015). Competencies for addressing gender and power in couple therapy: A socio-emotional approach. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41(2), 205-220.

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Power Disparities. (2020, Mar 11). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/power-disparities/